SF to UF: Corey Staples’ Hoop Dreams

SF to UF: Corey Staples’ Hoop Dreams

An individual is smiling for the camera while inside a basketball arena.

March 4, 2024 – Corey Staples always wanted to go to the University of Florida (UF). It was a lifelong dream. It was also a family tradition.

“All of my family went there, my stepdad, my mother, my brother,” Staples said. “So, I bled orange and blue.”

Accepting UF’s offer to be a preferred walk-on for the women’s basketball team was a pivotal moment for Staples. However, the dream faced a setback as gaining admission proved challenging. Despite the basketball coaches’ efforts, she did not secure a spot.

“I was devastated,” Staples said. “I had honestly given up on my dream to be a Gator, I had given up on my dream to play basketball because I felt like if I couldn’t play for the Gators, I don’t really know if I wanna play for anyone.”

Life sometimes has a strange way of unfolding. The dejected dreamer received acceptance to another major university in Florida. The plan involved potentially giving up on basketball. On the way to the orientation for that university, Corey decided to visit Santa Fe College (SF). Coach Stebbins, the women’s basketball coach at SF, had been in contact. Staples decided a visit couldn’t hurt.

“Five minutes,” she said, “literally five minutes into the orientation, I looked at my mom and I’m like, ‘Mom, I think I’m gonna go to Santa Fe [College]. Like, something is telling me that is where I need to be. If I can still maybe live my dream of being a Gator, then I don’t want to give up on that opportunity.’”

What made Staples decide so quickly and confidently?

UF welcomes a higher number of students from SF compared to the other 27 state colleges in Florida. SF students succeed better due to intimate class settings, challenging academic atmosphere, individualized support from faculty, and guidance provided by dedicated advisors.

According to Staples, “Santa Fe College has been literally the biggest blessing of my life. It gave me the opportunity to evolve as a person, to evolve as a student, to evolve as a basketball player, and it has literally been the catalyst in my life that’s really just changed everything and propelled me to be the woman I am today.”

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